Although denial in cancer patients is well known clinically, few studies investigating the prevalence of denial over time have been conducted.Background:
The objectives of this study are to investigate the level of denial in lung cancer patients over time and the impact of socio-demographic and illness-related variables on denial in these patients.Methods:
The level of denial was measured in 195 consecutive newly diagnosed lung cancer patients, using the Denial of Cancer Interview. Four assessments were conducted in eight months.Methods:
Socio-demographic data were collected during the interviews. Medical data were provided by the chest physicians.Results:
Most patients (86.6%) displayed a low or moderate level of denial at baseline. A small number (3%) showed a high level of denial. The mean level of denial was lowest at baseline and increased over time.Results:
Male lung cancer patients exhibited more denial than did female ones, and younger patients showed less denial than did the elderly. Shortly after diagnosis, patients with a lower level of education denied stronger than higher educated patients, and during the course of illness, both groups showed the same level of denial.Conclusion:
A certain level of denial has to be considered a normal phenomenon in lung cancer patients, part of the illness process that they undergo.Conclusion:
Whether the level of denial is related to adaptive or maladaptive coping remains to be investigated.